To understand Steep demands constant, and therefore stable, Internet connection. Also, the Uplay account without which you can not even run it and if you accidentally connect to it during gameplay (op.a. you will be surprised how often it happens) you will only be thrown into the main menu that consists of a single button and an irritating wait to re-merge. And why, for what, I suppose you're wondering. Well, sometimes the game will be combined with up to a maximum of three players who are in some of the huge maps and you may meet them and you can not even contact them.
It's interesting then, and I'll be back on that, as the only moments when I had fun at Steep was when I was exploring the world, so we have a situation where a huge open map is offered, a limitation on only four players and an additional restriction that you must always be ready to connect, although this is obviously not necessary for basic mechanics. Only three additional players with you in such a large and open world make this connection just as an add-on, not a key game mechanic, but the game can not be played without it at the moment.
Playing online with a company can be a lot of fun, but playing solos under constant threat of online connection problems just to keep up with you with a green icon above your head and never ever see it again.
Let me show you some similar design failures in practice. Steep is a simulation of extreme winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, wingsuite and paragliding. Your own tutorial and introduction to the story and the world will familiarize you with each of these disciplines, all in a tattered and shaky way as if you've been spending as never before; tricks, screams, a completely missed youthful jargon that was obviously written by older generations? There is one problem, of course, that the player was not first explained how competently all these vehicles are managed, let alone how the tricks are done.
Now I'm stupid, but believe me I've been listening to some excited guy while I'm trying every sport, especially as he tells me about things he has not shown me yet to do. Just a little later the game remembers to explain in a short video how to jump, and how tricks work. So the game is open with a few tasks and downs in which you have no idea what you are doing, and then even in the video shows you what fun you could do for the past hour when you got bored. I just want to point out this painful illogicality in Steep design, and keep in mind that this is what I described just the first contact with the game ... after the aforementioned tortuous process of creating the necessary Uplay account, of course.
But what's the worst thing to do after the first few hours is open and I remember exactly at what point I felt that he had jumped in the boots and where I finally got the breath off and for the first time I had a real fun.
It's not that I did not expect repetition from snow sports, in most cases the only available way down the road in some way. But snowboarding is, although the most beautiful, clumsy and repetitive, the skiing is overly straight and not overly entertaining, the wingsuit is completely forgetful of the simple controls, and the paragliding is truly the happiest thing I've experienced in my playing career. On the one hand you have tricks on the board and skis that are at first imprecise, and when you turn off the auxiliary wheels in options, they are still monotonous and uninteresting, and on the other hand, the downhill is down, which is ... just a hurry downhill. None of the sports has been solidly made, and in their most exciting moments, they are only mechanically acceptable.
But that's all that is being offered, and it strikes too early to be forgiven. It sounds obvious, but it should be emphasized that the Steep consists of an eternal descent down one of four ways, none of which is well done or fun in itself. And will you tell me what hurt the most in it? You need to stop completely to change the sport that sounds meaningful, but do you know what happens when you choose another sport? You have not been rewarded with any convenient and persuasive animation or anything that would justify stopping; only skis are created on your feet, the board, the suit, and the parachute. Why should not I be able to make it in flight and ski from a cliff, so fly with a wingsuit, open a parachute and land on board?
It seems as if every possibility of fun is completely drained and suppressed, which stinks to me. Before that, I would just point out that the map on which you are doing it all is huge, diverse and in fact valuable praises. It's just one loading when the game falls, and any future teleport or mapping is instant and the world is truly a consistent, open wildness. Are you surprised that the teleporting points and the challenges around them are locked up until you get closer to them and look at them with a binoculars? It should not, Steep is the case of Ubisoft's tower's tower, but this research and finding fun downhill is my most fun part. That's what gave me the reason to try new roads from the mountain peaks and stop there and I look around, when the sport itself did not offer me any reason to explore the slopes.
Ubisoft, what about those recent promises that you will never do a DLC that is crucial to the fundamental and complete gaming experience? Will anyone tell me that sledding is not fundamental to my complete experience of Steep? Well then, my experience of Steep is that it is a glorified demo for screenshots that are designed or mildly incompetent or very inexperienced designers and for a long time some game did not have much fun, so I would only recommend it for a pleasant 80% discount only if it includes all the DLC in the price - it's a bit of work to pay for it. It's not like the rocket wings will roll over a game that is suffering from much deeper problems and needs to have fun in it instead of having fun alone.
But it's really a pity, because on the technical side some things have been achieved that could be a basis for one particular experience. I am even ready to go through a number of smaller physical and graphic bugs purely because the world is beautiful and attractive. But what's worth giving to someone the finest violin if he has feet instead of a fist. I've even learned powerfully on those slightly tweaked controls that do not give you any sense as if you were controlling the character on the screen. But in a week of winter in Steep, it did not hold my interest any longer than the first 20 minutes after the ignition.
FOR: PC PS4 Xbox One
Developer Ubisoft Annecy
Release date 02/12/2016.